It’s Malton Food Lovers Festival this weekend (21st/22nd May). We’ve never been before but the line-up looks particularly enticing this year so we’re off to try it and report back. Here’s our advance pick of the programme.
Street Food doesn’t have a great reputation in the UK what with dodgy burger vans and greasy kebab stalls but food festivals are a different matter. Proper hog roasts, gourmet burgers and wood-fired pizzas smell good to us. Derek Fox, Overton’s and Fletchers will be showcasing their sausages at the YO17 barbecue and the Festival organisers promise 100 food producer stalls with new discoveries to sample.
The Yorkshire Taste Trail sounds smart: buy a collection of £2 vouchers from the Tourist Office and exchange them at any of twenty food shops (and art galleries, fashion shops, gift shops) for ‘tasting dishes’ like Scotch quail eggs, Pecorino shortbread with asparagus, plum and marzipan muffins, Yorkshire curd tarts.
Real ale and Yorkshire beers will be on tap in the Milton Rooms: Lavender Beer, Nettle Thrasher and Orkney Best are three of them. We’ll have to appoint a beer correspondent to keep up with the coming and goings of the the region’s microbreweries. Even the army’s at it. They’ll be in Malton running a field kitchen and offering the regiment’s own ale, Yorkshire Warrior.
Finally the chefs’ demonstrations. Too many to list here, but our pick of a strong field includes:
10.30 Richard Allen, ex Harvey Nichols
11.00 & 12.30 Robert Ramsden ex General Tarleton
1.00 Tim Bilton, Butcher’s Arms, Hepworth and TVs Great British Menu
1.30 Peter Neville, The Pheasant, Harome
2.30 Rosemary Shrager, TV celebrity chef
3.30 Tom Parker Bowles,
10.30 Rob Green, Greens of Whitby
11.00 James Mackenzie, Pipe & Glass, South Dalton
12.30 & 1.30 Stephanie Moon, Forager and TVs Great British Menu
The two I’m most interested in are perhaps the least famous – so far. Peter Neville was in terrific form last time I ate at the Pheasant and if I was still a TV producer I’d be touting Robert Ramsden as a star in the making: gift of the gab, great food expertise and – dare I say it – thoroughly telegenic.